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Hello, I'm a Seattle-based site reliabililty engineering manager, I get paid to do what I love, I like Python, I'm in an abusive relationship with JavaScript, I'm a fan of good design, and I don't think things always have to be so stupid.
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How to Clean Apple Watch Sport Bands

If you’re like me and constantly tint everything around you a slight shade of indigo from your raw denim jeans, then your white Apple Watch Sport Band is starting to look a little shabby after 2 years of everyday use. Luckily, it only takes about 5-10 minutes of effort to restore your band to its original color.

Things You’ll Need

  1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - we’ll be using this to remove the dye stains. Because I also have 2 years worth of dirt and debris also on my band, I use the Extra Durable version.
  2. Stained Apple Watch Sport Band (or similar polymer band).
  3. A hard, flat, durable surface.

Let’s Get Started

How much cleaning you do is completely up to you, but it should not take more than a few minutes of your time.

1. Prepare the eraser

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Follow the instructions on the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser box for preparing the eraser. In case you throw out the box in haste: you’ll want to wet the eraser and then wring it dry. Be careful when squeezing the water out as too much force applied will tear the eraser (this will happen naturally, but let’s not accelerate the disintegration).

2. Prepare the band

Remove the band from the watch body by pressing the release button and sliding out the strap for each one. Place each strap on a flat surface.

3. Clean the top side

Top side of bands

Start with the side of the straps with the pin pointing up (the top side).

Scrub your straps with the eraser. Depending on how old, stained, and dirty they are, you might need to apply more pressure. The fluoroelastomer straps are pretty hardy and can take a beating - the eraser will give up before the straps do.

Be careful on the shorter strap with the large opening and pin. This is not an issue for me, but I imagine too much force applied around the opening might break the strap.

4. Clean the bottom side

Bottom side of bands

Next, flip the straps over to the side that touches your skin (the bottom side). This side will probably have less indigo stain, but mine have plenty of miscellaneous dirt.

Same process applies here, except for the shorter strap with the large opening and pin (now pointing down). While cleaning the shorter strap, be careful not to scratch or damage your underlying surface as you apply pressure to the material.


How much cleaning you do is completely up to you. After about 5-10 minutes of scrubbing my bands, I removed all of the indigo stain in addition to most of the built-up dirt.

Top side with indigo stain removed:

Top side of bands

Bottom side with residue removed:

Bottom side of bands

From a casual observation the straps appear to be pristine white, but it still retains an oily shine:

Cleaning did not remove oily shine

Comparing the straps to my 4 month old midnight blue straps, you can see that the newer straps have a more matte finish:

Newer bands still have a matte finish

The cleaned white straps retain a subtle sheen that picks up more light, so if that matters to you, consider picking up a new band. Nevertheless, a quick scrubbing allows me to put the white band back into circulation.

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